Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Festinger

Robert Festinger

General Manager, YVE Hotel Miami

Robert Festinger is General Manager at YVE Hotel Miami, a property managed by Destination Hotels, the largest operator of independent hotels and resorts in North America, and owned by Host Hotels & Resorts, the nation's largest lodging real estate investment trust. The 245-room property is ideally situated in the heart of downtown Miami at 146 Biscayne Blvd. Mr. Festinger was formerly the Vice President and Managing Director of the Newport Beachside Hotel & Resort in Sunny Isles Beach, also referred to as Florida's Riviera. He oversaw the day-to-day operations of the Newport Group; Kitchen 305, Seven Seas Aveda Spa & Salon, Newport Marketing, Newport Hospitality and Newport Vacation Club. He was also responsible for sales, marketing and operations for the oceanfront resort's 360 rooms and more than 600 employees. Prior to the Newport, he was with Starwood Hotels & Resorts as Director of Sales and Catering/Convention Services for the Westin and Sheraton brands. During that tenure, he was awarded the Starwood Platinum Award in 2006 before joining the Chicago City Centre Hotel & Sports Club of Chicago to oversee event and catering operations. Mr. Festinger officially started his career as a social and corporate catering sales manager at Terrace on the Park, New York's most recognizable event venue for more than 40th years where he boosted fundraising, corporate and social sales. Mr. Festinger's father, Wilhelm Festinger, was a European trained chef and successful restaurateur so he was raised in the hospitality business from an early age. His family owned Pappagallo Restaurant of Glen Head in New York. He officially began his career in the hospitality business in 1997 after graduating from Hofstra University with a degree in political science and economics. Today Mr. Festinger resides in Aventura, Florida with his wife and three-year-old son.

Mr. Festinger can be contacted at 305-358-4555 or rfestinger@destinationhotels.com

Coming up in August 2020...

Food & Beverage: New Technological Innovations

In the past few years, hotel food and beverage departments have experienced significant growth. Managers are realizing just how much revenue potential this sector holds, both in terms of additional revenue and as a means to enhance the guest experience. As a result, substantial investments are being made in F&B operations as a way to satisfy hotel guests but also to keep pace with the competition. Though it has been a trend for many years, the Farm-to-Table movement shows no signs of abating. Hotel chains are abandoning corporate restaurants and are instead partnering with local chefs to create locally-influenced dining options. Local, farm-sourced ingredients paired with specialty beverages or local wine also satisfies the increasing demand from Millennial travelers who are eager to travel sustainably and contribute to a positive impact. A farm-to-table F&B program also helps to support the local economy, which builds community goodwill. Also popular are "Self-Serv" and "Grab & Go" options. These concepts stem from an awareness that a guest's time is limited and if a hotel can supply them with fast, fresh, food and beverage choices, then so much the better for them. Plus, by placing these specialty kiosks in areas that might be traditionally under-utilized (the lobby, for instance), they can become popular destination locations. Of course, there are new technological innovations as well. In-room, on-screen menus allow guests to order from any restaurant on the property, and some hotels are partnering with delivery companies that make it possible for guests to order food from any restaurant in the area. Also, many hotels are implementing in-room, voice-activated devices, so ordering food via an AI-powered assistant will soon become mainstream as well. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these developments and document what some leading hotels are doing to expand this area of their business.